I recall an East Coast visit to a colleague one spring, some years ago. After worship, another friend and I in our civvies and she in her clerical collar headed out for brunch where we drew the attention of a woman at another table. As we were leaving, the woman announced loud enough for everyone in the diner to hear, “You’re a woman, you should NOT be wearing a collar.”
The three of us were dumb struck which N-E-V-E-R happened! Two preachers and a church organist stood in the centre of that restaurant, with every eye on us, our jaws hung open, rendered speechless. We only remember her “preaching on” as we tossed our money at an apologetic server and ran out the door.
Of course, once we reached the safety of the car, did we ever let her have it! But back in that moment, I believe a response from any of us would have been defensive and would have escalated to an ugly interaction. I believe our words were held in at that moment so our reactions could witness to others the rays of Jesus’ light.
Jesus, light of the world, please keep your arm around my shoulder and your hand over my mouth, so your light may shine. Amen. — LP